It’s no secret that social media trends shift quickly, sometimes before you even realize they’ve come and gone. So I can’t promise you that all of the following trends will stay relevant. However, I can say with confidence that this is where you can expect to see social trends going for the foreseeable future as we head into 2017.
1. Social Media Use Continues to Rise
According to the Pew Research Center, the share of Americans who use Facebook is on the rise, with eight in 10 online Americans (79 percent) using the social platform. Of those, 76 percent are logging in daily to do everything from catching up on the latest news to searching for employment. Instagram and Twitter trail behind at 32 percent and 24 percent respectively, with younger generations tending to use these platforms more than older Americans.
With such strong statistical support for the use of Facebook among online Americans, it’s clear that brands cannot afford to ignore the platform as a means of reaching customers. In addition to using other marketing mediums such as email, consider implementing a Facebook strategy that includes both engaging content and advertising to get in front of more eyeballs.
[bctt tweet=”Brands cannot afford to ignore #Facebook as a means of reaching customers.” username=”rallioHQ”]
2. Customers Want Real-Time Responses
When customers speak on social media, they expect brands to be listening … immediately. Search Engine Watch reports that more than 70 percent of Twitter users who interact with brands expect responses, and 53 percent want to hear back within the hour. “That percentage goes up when someone is issuing a complaint to a brand, with 72 percent saying within an hour is a reasonable time to hear back from them on the issue,” the author writes.
With complaints in particular, customers who don’t get timely responses are likely to tell friends and family and even escalate their concerns to other mediums. So while Twitter might not be your primary method of reaching customers, you need to have an ear open and a presence there, as well as a means of managing customer inquiries that originate on social media.
Bottom line: Implement both the human power and the software tools needed to track customer engagement so you’ll always be ready to respond to both positive and negative customer inquiries and comments. If you need help identifying the best software to get the job done, go to www.rallio.com or email us at email@example.com so we can walk through the options together.
[bctt tweet=”When customers speak on #socialmedia, they expect brands to be listening … immediately.” username=”rallioHQ”]
3. Social Commerce Shows Promise
According to research by Statista, 93 percent of millennials pass their time on social networks. Combine that data with the above stats on Facebook usage, and you can see why brands want to know how to monetize all that traffic.
It remains to be seen whether social commerce will take off as a solid means of revenue for companies. However, if there’s one thing we know about innovation, it’s that people will continue testing and researching ways to do just that.
Pinterest shows particular promise in the social commerce space. Although social media still only accounts for a small percentage of traffic to commerce sites, reports Business Insider, “there are signs that Pinterest could help drive up social commerce as the platform gains momentum.” Be on the watch for shifts toward social commerce across other platforms throughout 2017 and beyond.
4. Video Content Is Still Big (and Getting Bigger)
Did you know that Snapchat has over 10 billion views daily? That’s billion, with a B, and that’s no joke. It’s a huge opportunity for brands to step up their brand marketing strategies, not only on Snapchat, but on other mediums as well.
As more brands use video marketing, it will be increasingly important to get creative with your approach. Rather than just post your thoughts about an event, let users live vicariously through you! Show them what it’s like to be there so they actually feel like they’re part of the event. Think live videos, virtual reality experiences and real-time posting that gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the real-life experience. The sky is the limit!
[bctt tweet=”Rather than just post your thoughts about an event, let users live vicariously through you! #VideoContent” username=”rallioHQ”]
5. Employees Are Brand Ambassadors
All of those people on social media aren’t just your customers or prospects. They’re your employees, too! Anytime your employees post something related to your brand, they’re serving as brand ambassadors, spreading the word among their friends and followers.
A great example is Adobe. In her article “How Adobe Empowers Its Employees to be Brand Ambassadors,” Lydia Abbot, a blog editor and content marketer at LinkedIn, writes about a fascinating discovery made by Adobe’s Head of Social Business Center of Excellence, Cory Edwards.
“Cory was struck one day when he saw the results that one employee’s social media efforts were driving,” she writes. “That month, this particular evangelist had driven more revenue for the company than its branded social networking properties, like @Adobe on Twitter.” That discovery led to the development of the company’s Social Shift Program, which educates employees about social media guidelines and best practices and empowers them to be brand ambassadors.
Likewise, you can develop your own social advocacy program to encourage employees to generate exposure for your brand via social media. As customers get to know the people behind the brand, they’ll gain trust in your company, engage with you and share content with their networks. Over time, you’ll have a team of brand ambassadors not only in your employees, but in their respective social networks, too.
Of course, these are just a few of the trends you can expect to see developing in the coming months. No doubt there will be others that take even greater precedence. I’d like to hear from you: What other trends do you foresee gaining momentum? Which trends do you think won’t last?
Most of all, I’d like to thank you for being a part of the Rallio community. We’re looking at big growth in 2017, and I can’t wait to share more news with you going forward.